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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 5, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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>> pelley: tonight, he was dead set on killing americans, now an american drone has killed him. bob orr on the takedown of al qaeda's number two. a razor-close election tonight that both left and right have fought tooth and nail. can the governor of wisconsin survive a recall? dean reynolds is there. bill clinton gives us his solution to the financial crisis that threatens the u.s. recovery. but he warns time is running out. >> i'm trying to do it yesterday if i were in their position. >> pelley: and steve hartman "on the road" with a story of love that was lost in war but has survived the test of time. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. he was always the one who got away. al qaeda's number two, abu yahya al-libi had escaped from an american prison and dodged hellfire missiles aimed at him from u.s. drones. but al-libi's luck has just run out. the united states confirmed today that an american drone killed him yesterday in northern pakistan. since navy seals took out osama bin laden a year ago, the u.s. has killed more than a dozen of al qaeda's senior commanders. here's bob orr. >> reporter: abu yahya al-libi was one of the last remaining pillars of the core of al qaeda. he appeared in dozens of videos urging new strikes against the u.s. and its allies. but the charismatic terrorist was more than a propagandist. al-libi sat on al qaeda's governing council and as the top
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deputy to new al qaeda chief ayman al-zawahiri al-libi oversaw external operations. u.s. officials say he was at the center of planning new attacks and coordinating al qaeda's outreach to top affiliates like al qaeda in yemen. as a veteran jihadist who was a trustetrust aide to osama bin l, al-libi was viewed inside al qaeda as something like a star and he burnished that reputation with a brazen escape in 2005 from a u.s. military prison at the bagram air base in afghanistan. this is the wanted poster that was circulated after his breakout. al-libi made one of his last-known public appearances in this video last december urging rebels in his homeland of libya to hold on to their weapons and fight the deceptive notion of democracy. al-libi is the latest senior al qaeda leader to be killed in a u.s. air campaign to dismantle the terror network. since bin laden's death 13 months ago, the u.s. has carried
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out nearly 100 air strikes in pakistan and yemen, killing more than a dozen top terrorists, including american-born cleric anwar al-awlaki. al-awlaki was the operational leader behind the recent bombing plots out of yemen targeting u.s. aviation, but officials say the loss of al-libi is equally significant. one u.s. official says al qaeda has no one on its roster who can come close to replacing al-libi's expertise. this killing of al-libi adds to the tensions between the u.s. and pakistan which continues to demand an end to drone strikes. but u.s. officials have made it clear, scott, when they have a shot at a known terrorist who presents a real threat, they're going to take it. >> pelley: bob, thanks very much. john miller is a former assistant director of the f.b.i. and a former assistant deputy director of national intelligence but is now a senior con respondent here at cbs news. john, what does this mean to al qaeda? >> it means a couple of things. one, by losing their number they also lose in effect their chief operating officer, the guy who
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went through the day to day job of running the complex organization. by having people like that, that's what allowed bin laden to hide as long as he did-- years longer than he would have if he were involved in the day to day business-- and it's also given the insulation to ayman al-zawahiri. >> pelley: the head of al qaeda now is dr. al-zawahiri. what does he do now? >> well, he has two choices, and both of them are bad. he can either reach deeper down into the organization and find somebody who can run the day to day business as a replacement. but we won't find anyone with the managerial skill or the street credibility of al-libi who is not only a capable warrior but was also regarded as a religious scholar in the organization. the other alternative, of course, is that he can step up and get more involved in the day to day running of the organization. but that means increasing his exposure to possibly meeting the same end. >> pelley: taking al qaeda apart a piece at a time.
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john, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> pelley: few elections this year are getting more attention than the one in wisconsin tonight. it's an attempt to recall republican governor scott walker who famously took on public employee unions, taking away their right to bargain collectively on everything but wages. he's a hero to some and a villain to others and tonight he is fighting for his job. dean reynolds is in walk shaw. >> reporter: the race here is so close with stakes so high that both candidates continued campaigning even as wisconsin voters marked their ballots. >> the energy has been building and building and building which we think is a very good sign. >> i think most people will be happy to have the election over. >> reporter: 2.8 million people were expected to participate. 65% of eligible voters. some $64 million was spent on the race, most of it by out-of-state reporters of republican governor scott walker. their efforts resulted in an avalanche of ads attacking walker's democratic opponent,
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milwaukee mayor tom barrett. >> tom barrett isn't telling the truth. >> reporter: just last night, there were reports that automated calls were made to voters' homes trying to suppress barrett's support. the calls were said to erroneously state that if somebody signed the petition to recall walker there was no need to vote in today's elections. the walker campaign disavowed the tactic. walker led in just about every poll, held aloft by those who support his budget cutting and his controversial fight to strip unions representing government workers of their collective bargaining rights. it was that public fight that stirred mass protests and started the effort to kick him out of office. exit polls conducted today showed wisconsin voters split down the middle on limiting collective bargaining for government workers. national republican headliners campaigned hard for walker and former president bill clinton campaigned for barrett who warned that walker would turn wisconsin into a tea party power
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center. >> i don't want wisconsin to be the petri dish for the right wing, for the tea party. >> reporter: the current president stayed away. mr. obama did, however, write a 17-word tweet on barrett's behalf monday night at 7:30 in r:e evening. now, four years ago barack obama d n wisconsin by 14 points but republicans here say that if scott walker prevail this is evening it means that wisconsin is back in play in the general election in november. and evidently, scott, the president's campaign agrees because his team members said this week that wisconsin is now a tossup. >> pelley: dean, thank you. another major concern for the president tonight is keeping a lid on europe's debt crisis which now threatens the u.s. recovery. today mr. obama spoke by telephone with britain's prime minister david cameron. they talked about ways of propping up european banks. earlier, officials from the u.s. and the world's top economies
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held an emergency conference call. chief white house correspondent norah o'donnell joins us with more details about that tonight. norah? >> reporter: scott, one of the president's top wa worries is tt this european crisis, if not solved, could send the american economy into a tail spin. so that's why the obama administration today set up this call with a group of seven nation which is include great britain, germany, other countries. and we've learned that the people who organized that call are actually the treasury secretary tim geithner and fed chairman ben bernanke. now, look, the u.s. and the europeans have been trying for over two and a half years to come up with the solution but the white house now says there is a heightened sense of urgency. spain has that banking crisis, the elections in greece are now just two weeks away. so they are hoping for some accelerated action here at the white house but it may depend on whether president obama can convince germany's chancellor
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angela merkel to help underwrite some of europe's bad banks. and, scott, a senior advisor to the president told me today they are also hopeful that the upcoming g-20 summit later this month in mexico could help force a deal. >> pelley: an urgent problem for u.s. jobs. norah, thank you very much. former president bill clinton told us today that the european financial crisis is a threat to the world economy. we sat down with mr. clinton this afternoon. he told us that european governments urgently need a new way to raise money such as a euro bond which would be backed by all of the nations of europe. how much concern should the folks at home have about the financial crisis in europe today? >> well, they should be quite concerned about it. you know, the eurozone is a very big economy. we sell a lot of our export there is. we depend on them to supply some essential things for our economy. but our biggest exposure is in having some kind of really bad
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consequence there just when we're trying to come out of this. you know, in the last 27 months, in spite of the last job report being somewhat disappointing, we created 4.3 million private sector jobs in the american economy. that's almost... that's about the same per month as we did in the eight years i was president. >> pelley: but you've had about 14 million laid off since the great recession. >> that's correct, we have. we are generally thought to be doing better than the europeans because we went for growth first with a long-term debt reduction plan and they tried to do in the beginning too much austerity which led to higher unemployment and actually increased the government deficits. so i'm encouraged, actually, by the signals that the e.u. is sending us. >> pelley: what do you think the europeans must do immediately to solve this crisis that they're in? >> well, it looks to me like if they could agree to issue these euro bonds-- which could be issued at fairly low interest rates if the germans and the
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french and the others back them-- if they did that you could see some growth coming back in, then i think investor confidence would go up and i think you'd see more investment in the united states, too, and more growth here. i think that it's sort of like a cloud in the background that's holding us back. >> pelley: but the need is urgent. >> i think so, yeah. oh, i don't think they have a lot of time. i think one or two months and i tried to do it yesterday if i were in their position. >> pelley: this week in new york, the former president will open a meeting of the clinton global initiative. he created c.g.i. to tackle poverty, health care and edge nation the developing world but recently it's been focusing a lot of its efforts on creating jobs in america. the multimillion dollar ad war over a proposed cigarette tax in california. the sun gets a beauty mark as venus makes her move. and grand finale. more than a million people
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celebrate the 60-year reign of queen elizabeth when the "cbs evening news" continues. came from it's something you never want to encounter. for more of the inside story, visit but i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth out. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist and he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use the biotene rinse twice a day and then i use the spray throughout the day.
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research money and keep our kids from smoking. >> reporter: the ad war over proposition 29 in california has been raging for weeks. >> it raises $735 million in tobacco taxes but not one penny goes to new funding if -r cancer treatment. >> reporter: health advocates thought the $1 per fact tax for secretarcigarettes would be an y sell. california has been at the forefront of banning smoking in public places. mark dicamillo conducts the field pole. >> a cigarette tax on its face is usually a popular kind of tax with voters and the reason is most voters don't smoke. >> reporter: just 12% of californians smoke. donations to pay for ads supporting prop 29 rolled in from lance armstrong's foundation and new york mayor michael bloomberg. a march poll found 67% favored the proposal. then big tobacco fought back in a big way. >> prop 29 is flawed. it raises nearly a billion dollars in taxes. but doesn't require it to be spent in california creating
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jobs. >> reporter: tobacco giants philip morris and r.j. reynolds launched a counterattack with a $46 million war chest. their campaign has cut support for the tax to just 53%. daniel newman runs a research firm that has tracked the money spent by both sides. >> the tobacco groups are spending trip what will the yes side, the cancer groups, are spending. the tobacco companies have the resources to spend whatever they feel they need to spend to defeat this measure. >> reporter: if passed, the tax would raise an estimated $735 million to fund cancer research and education. critics say it will do nothing to solve california's biggest problem: its massive budget deficit. joel fox is president of a small business association opposed to the tax. >> we have a $16 billion deficit and they're trying to wall off some more money. not a penny goes to education. not a penny goes to the social welfare programs in the state. >> reporter: health researchers here tell us if this
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tax does pass they expect the number of smokers in california to drop from 12% to 8% and that alone could cost the tobacco companies about a billion dollars so, scott, that's a big part of why they're fighting so hard to defeat this. >> pelley: ben, thanks very much. this is the moment that astronomers have been waiting for, the transit of venus is happening right now and it won't happen again for 105 years. these pictures of the sun are from a telescope in hawaii and you can see that dot are the upper right-hand side. that's venus which is passing between the earth and the sun. weather permitting, folks all over north america can watch venus travel from right to left but, of course, be warned, you can't look directly at the sun, it will damage your eyes. we have a dazzling view of the final day of celebration for the queen's jubilee. that's next.
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british monarch has done before her: she addressed the kingdom on television, a very rare event. >> it has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbors, and friends celebrating together. >> reporter: the celebrations today included an aerial salute... >> hip-hip... hoary! >> pelley: ... and three cheers for six decades on the thrown. we were touched today by a photograph that came into the newsroom on this eighth anniversary of president reagan's death. anniversary of president reagan's death. his widow, nancy, visited his grave and we were reminded that the reagans' favorite song was "our love is here to stay." we will end tonight with another story of enduring love. steve hartman's "on the road" is next. all four of us, together? 24. he's low fat, too, and has 5 grams of sugars. i'll believe it when i---
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i said, yes, i did. i don't think anybody ever thinks they're going to get shingles. but it happened to me. for more of the inside story, visit >> pelley: 68 years ago today general dwight eisenhower gave the final order for the allied invasion of normandy. it was the eve of d-day. among the americans who fought to liberate europe in the months ahead was first lieutenant billy harris, and that brings us to steve hartman's "on the road"-- part mystery, part love story. >> reporter: peggy harris of vernon, texas, never got a knock
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at the door. never got a telegram. never got anything definitive explaining what happened to her husband billie during world war ii. and so, in the absence of answers, she has remained dutiful to this day. >> billie was married to me all of his life and i choose to be married to him all of my life. >> reporter: peggy and billie got married just six weeks before he got shipped off to war. a fighter pilot, his last mission was july 17, 1944 over nazi-occupied northern france. billie never returned from that mission. at first, he was reported as missing. then he was reported as alive and coming home. then peggy got a letter saying he'd actually been killed and was buried in one cemetery. then another letter saying he was buried in a different cemetery. then she was told maybe those aren't his remains at all. for peggy it was very frustrating. >> so i waited longer.
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>> reporter: months turned to years... >> and still no answer. >> reporter: turned to decades. >> so i wrote to my congressman. >> reporter: wrote repeatedly asking for any information about the fate of her husband. the last letter in 2005 was directed to representative make thornberry of texas who also happens to be vice chairman of the house arms services committee. in his replay, thornberry said billie was still listed as missing in action in the national archives. >> didn't feel it was right that he just went off to war and didn't come back. end of story. >> reporter: billie's cousin alton harvey grew up with this mystery. >> you need to know what's happened to him. >> reporter: so a few years ago he decided to try to get to the bottom of it for peggy. he started by requesting billie's military records. and that's all it took. >> i said that can't be. never dawned on me he was there. >> reporter: few missing soldiers have ever been easier to find than billie harris-- here in more to -r mandy, france, at the world's most famous cemetery along its most well-traveled path the answer
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has been lying all along clear and sobering as a white marble cross. so why, then, as late as 2005 was peggy's congressman still telling her her husband was missing in action? turns out there are no records of representative thornberry ever even checking with the national archives and if he had-- as we did-- he would have scene it says right there "k.i.a.," killed in action. on this berry didn't want to talk to us, and for her part, peggy harbors no grudge. >> have to learn to be forgiving. >> reporter: she's just glad to finally have an answer. since learning her husband was buried here, peggy has been sending flowers. >> valentine's day. >> reporter: ten times a year she sends flowers. >> his birthday. >> reporter: making this by all accounts... >> wedding anniversary. >> reporter: the most decorated grave in all of normandy. >> christmas. >> reporter: cemetery officials say she's also, as far
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as they know, the last widow who still visits here. after 60 years, she's clearly got a lot of mourning to make up for. >> when people speak of closure, they are people who haven't experienced anything like this. >> reporter: acceptance. peggy says at this point that's the best she can hope for. and these visits help her get there. plus, she says, after just six weeks together as husband and wife and more than six decades apart any time together is a treasure. steve hartman, "on the road", in normandy, france. >> pelley: peggy has discovered that the people of one french town have loved and honored her husband almost as long as she has. tomorrow on the anniversary of d-day steve will take us there. that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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this is 9nows news now. >> a dramatic faceoff between protesters and the u.s. marshal. it ends with two people in the hospital. the occupiers were protesting. the marshals say they were just doing their job, trying to execute a court ordered eviction. as crusten kristin fisher shows us, things got ugly. >> reporter: protesters pull aid part, dragged away by u.s. marshals. marshals breakthrough the first barrier, then hit another blockade at the front door. protesters tied the pvc pipes and a wall of milk crates. the marshals ripped down the crates, bust down the door


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